Image Resource

1. Sony’s Cross Profit Exceeded 1 Trillion Yen for the First Time, Strong Performance in Movies and Music Business

According to JIJI news agency, Sony Group announced on May 10, 2022, its consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022 (based on International Financial Reporting Standards). Sales increased 10.3% from the previous fiscal year to 9,921.5 billion yen, and cross profit, which indicates profit from core businesses, rose 25.9% to 1,202.3 billion yen, both reaching record highs. In addition to the strong performance of the movie and music businesses, the weak yen in the exchange rate also contributed to the increase. Although simple comparisons cannot be made due to a change in accounting standards, this is the first time that cross profit has reached the 1 trillion yen.

2. First “Automatic Operation of Commercial Trains” to Be Implemented on Yamanote Line, Aiming Full Operation by 2028

JR East announced on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, that it will conduct a demonstration test of automatic train operation by introduce ATO (Automatic Train Operation) on the Yamanote Line to test trains carrying passengers, according to Traffic News. ATO controls acceleration and deceleration of trains through intercommunication between the train and equipment around the tracks. Basically, a person sitting in the driver’s cab just only need pressing a button when the train starts. ATO is currently in widespread use, especially in subways, and its introduction will save energy and improve train comfort even more than human operation. Through research, various findings have been accumulated on driving operations that lead to energy-saving operation. In the future, modification work to make the trains ATO-compatible will begin around the spring of 2023, with full introduction scheduled by around 2028.

3. Nintendo Switch Sales down over 5 Million Units Due in Part to Semiconductor Shortages

According to Kyodo News, Nintendo announced on May 10, 2022, that it sold 2.36 million units of its game console “Nintendo DS” worldwide in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. This was a drop of more than 5.7 million units from the 28.83 million units sold in the previous fiscal year, which was the highest one-year sales record by “stay home demand” following the CCP virus (COVID-19) spread and the explosive hit ” Animal Crossing: Horizons” game software. The supply slowdown due to the global shortage of semiconductors was also a negative factor.

4. “National Debt” at 1,241 Trillion Yen, the Largest Ever for Six Consecutive Years

The so-called “national debt,” which is the total of government bonds and borrowings, reached a record high of over 1,241 trillion yen as of the end of March 2022, and the fiscal situation is becoming even more severe, reported by NHK on May 10. Although the one-year increase from the end of last March was 24.8441 trillion yen, smaller than the previous year when the increase exceeded 100 trillion yen for the first time, the total amount of debt renewed the record high for the sixth consecutive year. This is since the government has been supplementing what it cannot cover with tax revenues by issuing government bonds, while social security expenses such as medical care, long-term care, and pensions have been ballooning and measures against the pandemic continue to be required.

5. 40% of Respondents Were Either “Agree” or “Against” Amending the Constitution to Include an “The provision regarding national emergency”

According to NHK, for three days starting on the 6th of this month, NHK conducted a nationwide poll of people over 18 years old using the “RDD” method, in which computer-generated calls were made to randomly generated landline and cell phone numbers throughout Japan, reported by May 10. A total of 2,191 people were targeted for the survey, and 55%, or 1,214 people, responded. There is an opinion that the Constitution should be amended to add an “the provision regarding national emergency” that temporarily strengthens the authority of the government and extends the term of office of Diet members in the event of an emergency such as a large-scale disaster or terrorist attack. In contrast, some respondents said that the current law can handle the situation without amending the Constitution. When asked whether they were “agreeing” or “against” amending the Constitution to include an ” The provision regarding national emergency”, 40% said “yes,” 40% said “no,” and 20% said “don’t know or no answer”.

6. Passengers on Flights During Golden Week Holidays Increased About 2 Times Compared to Last Year, and International Flights Increased 4.6 Times

During the Golden Week holiday, more than 2.6 million people took domestic flights, approximately double the number of last year, when the state emergency was declared due to the spread of the CCP virus (COVID-19). International flights also increased 4.6 times, mainly improved by the resumption of tours to Hawaii, reported by NHK on May 10. According to ANA, the number of flights has recovered to 65% compared to the same period three years ago, before the spread of the infection. On the other hand, although only three airlines operate international flights, the number of passengers on international flights increased 4.6 times compared to the same period last year to approximately 141,000, partly benefited by the resumption of tours to Hawaii for the first time in two years, which had been suspended due to the spread of the CCP virus (COVID-19).

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】

Translator: Tagomi

Proofreading: Tagomi